Oranje and WorldCup 2014: one year to go

And here we are. Louis van Gaal had his Asia trip to check on the big boys and to allow some wannabees in, while Cor Pot had the top talents at his disposal to win some silverware.

With the dust settled, the Confederations Cup in full flow and the rest on their way to beaches, mountains, exotic cities or the training field (Sneijder), lets check the State of the Orange Union.

There is a list (in Louis’ head) with names of players of whom LVG thinks he will take them… This is of course, unless something remarkable happens (injury, dramatic loss of form or conflict at club).

At the top of that list is the current Captain, one Robin van Persie. He will lead us all into the final year leading up to the World Cup. Arjen Robben, vice captain, is close behind him. In the form he currently is, he is likely to win the Golden Ball at the end of the year… Or whatever the name. Kevin Strootman and Jeremain Lens (both still PSV but probably not for long) will be on that list too. Lens going to Kiev might be a gutsy move for him, in view of Brazil 2014, but maybe not. Russia has the future, they say…

I think Vorm and Vermeer might be certainties too, with Stekelenburg and Krul battling for the third spot. Stekelenburg to Fulham is a good move for him. Once Krul returns from injury, he might be taking Vermeer’s spot again, as the EPL is simply a stronger competition than the Dutch one.

Darryl Janmaat is way ahead of the rest of the pack on the RB position while Daley Blind has been doing really well on the LB spot. Ricardo van Rhijn will be a good alternative for Janmaat, but he might be surprised by the development of Gregory van der Wiel.

On the left hand side, Jetro Willems and Erik Pieters will both be vying for the spot behind Blind although I do give Van Aanholt a chance to make it, if he keeps on developing as he has, this season.

Pieters could well be a central defender option, depending on his coming season.

In defence, it seems Martins Indi and De Vrij are the key players for Van Gaal. For now… I wouldn’t be surprised if we would find another player suddenly coming in the frame for De Vrij. I was not totally convinced those last games for Feyenoord and I was not totally impressed with him in Israel. He has strong point, but he is slow and a bit clumsy in the one-on-one. Simply a bit too slow and lanky it seems.

I like De Vrij, don’t get me wrong but Bruma at PSV is a terrific prospect for me. I rate Bruma as a real candidate. Vlaar can most likely be the other player who can get his ticket, provided he will perform well this coming season. And then there is John Heitinga. He has been solid for a long spell in Oranje and has lost his standing in the last year or so. He is planning to move to the Eredivisie to make sure he can have a real go at making the squad.

Joris Mathijsen will not make the list, in my view.


Sneijeer Heit

In midfield, it seems Jonathan de Guzman made an impression. But he is leaving Laudrup and Swansea and his season might be quite different yet again. Who knows…

There are a couple of no’s, in my book. Like I said, Joris is probably not going to be there. I expect Nigel de Jong to be on the list of no-goers too. He is injured, as is Afellay, Boetius, Tim Krul and Luciano Narsingh. I believe Afellay and Narsigh, when fit, would be assets to the squad but the question is whether both will be able to reach their top form again.

Van Gaal has some options to choose from beyond De Guzman. Again, the Canadian born will have to prove his worth still this coming season in Spain, but lets assume he will succeed. Strootman, Fer, Clasie, Van Ginkel can all play that role, although Strootman will be the second midfielder, normally. The box-to-box man. With Fer and Van Ginkel as stand-in. Clasie would be the ideal stand-in for De Guzman.

As playmaker, I expect LVG to pick between Sneijder, Siem de Jong, Van der Vaart and Maher. Van Gaal thinks De Jong and Van der Vaart are more alike, as they play as second striker, while Sneijder and Maher are more similar as they play more like midfielders.

This suggests that LVG will pick between Siem and Raf and between Wes and Adam.

I personally think that is foolish. If both Wesley and Maher are in top shape and good form, you want them both. Sneijder is maybe only relevant as playmaker, but Maher can take any role in midfield and is versatile and also good coming from the bench.

Siem de Jong is a question mark. He is good at Ajax’ level, but can he make the step up. Also, he seems to play in the same pace all the time and lacks speed.

Speaking of which, Rafael van der Vaart is a question mark because he might not be able to perform consistently at the top level. His physical body doesn’t seem to want to do what his astute football mind wants…

Huntelaar will most likely be the RVP stand in as central striker and it is to be hoped that Ola John performs well the coming season so we can play with a real left winger with tremendous potential. Ruben Schaken has been used as a right winger, with success, but he is not really top notch Oranje material in my mind.

Derk Boerrigter has not impressed this season as a potential Robben stand-in on the right. Schaken is ahead of him but Wijnaldum might have something to say about this. Under Cocu at PSV, he might live up. At the same time, with Toivonen likely to move away, Cocu might play the ex Feyenoord prospect as playmaker.

Van Gaal has added two key aspects to his infamous TIPS system: orientation and conduct.

With orientation, Louis means: how does a player deal with a lot of space around him or behind him? This would apply to a central defender for instance. With a midfielder it’s more, does the midfielder see the runner on his blind side and can he pass the ball on intuition? Conduct is more: what does a player do when faced with a setback? An own goal. A horrendous mistake? Or a referee who is not that good? Or an aggressive opponent? Or how does a player respond when the team needs to fight back into the game? And obviously, how does a player respond when he is benched….

Van Gaal will also have a surprise or two, I’m sure. To give one example: Clasie was benched by Cor Pot, but the little Feyenoord midfielder is a typical Van Gaal player. A lad who sees the game quick and is able to accelerate the game (like Sneijder can). Just like Van Gaal is a fan of Siem de Jong, whose most important strength, according to LVG, is orientation. De Jong feels where space is, feels where the ball will come and is able to be right in time. A quality he shares with players like Jari Litmanen, Gareth Bale and Hernandez.

He might not have the creativity that Maher and Sneijder have, but he has the ability to enter the box at the exact right time to finish a cross or a pass.

I am hoping on the next 23:


Van Aanholt
De Vrij
Martins Indi
Van Rhijn

De Guzman

Van Persie
Van der Vaart (or any other wildcard player)

And in case of emergency, I’m sure Kluivert still knows how to hit a ball :-).

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  1. Vermeer Vs steleklenburg
    Lenz Vs Narsingh
    i think seim de jong should called up ahead fo hunter,no matter how less skilled he is he will get you goals in important games.
    Robin vanpersie
    Seim Dejong
    Wesly sneijder (if fit)
    adam maher
    Leory fer
    Kevin strootman
    Jonathan De guzman
    Jordie clasie
    Marco vanginkel
    Jermain lenz
    Arjen Roben
    ola john
    Van anholt
    Danny blind
    Ron vlaar
    Jefrry bruma
    De vrij
    ==============================even Maher or ginkel can play in wings especialy ginkel has kuyt like work rate and better speed.if kuyt can play in wings why not Van ginkel?????

  2. Stekelenburg deserves to be GK after his heroics against Brasil 2010.

    Can you imagine the mental games played in the brazilian players heads when they see Stek in goal?

    Can you imagine the relief on the Spanish players faces when they see RvP in front of goal?

    Can you imagine the Germans cowering in fear of the new “non-choker” Robben marauding down the flanks?

    I will be there in Brazil to see Oranje win a WK!

    1. @Ed..orange attack goin to be ok with RVP,roben,wes,maher,ginkel and co.but i would have had attack. At the time when seeing our disorganized defense,i am worried,May be things would change Deguzman/Nijel takes the security guard..under LVG defense is always weak.even his bayren days they had issues in defense.At times RVP doesnt score.it would be wise u change RVP after 45 minutes in those games or take back our playmaker and put RVP as playmaker then put a striker like Seim Dejong.up front.

  3. If I had to chose 23 players now :


    Van Rhijn
    De Vrij
    Martins Indi
    Van Aanholt

    N.De Jong
    De Guzman
    Van der Vaart
    Van Ginkel

    Ola John
    Van Persie
    S.De Jong

    Starters : Krul, Janmaat, Douglas, Vlaar, Blind, N.De Jong, De Guzman, Van der Vaart, Robben, Lens, Van Persie.

    Well, one month ago I was considering De Vrij and BMI being starters, but I’m a bit disappointed after this tournament, though they both were good against Italy, De Vrij cost 2 goals against Germany and BMI one against Russia, and they both showed how soft they are, especially De Vrij. Douglas/Vlaar is a very authoritary and strong defense, they both have average passes but at least we’ll finally have agressive defenders.

    I still like Van der Vaart and he was good last games with Holland, maybe his condition is going down with age, but he still runs more than Sneijder. I consider him as a starter currently, above Sneijder, Maher or Afellay in that playmaker position.

    If we’re losing : Fer, Van Ginkel and S.De Jong in, three players able to score important goals.

    1. @laurent i like ur defense so strong ,may not be good in build up from cb.but a hard defense to breake.Is nijel is fit?or will he reach in old leavel(i mean have seen him covering ground and destroying every move of the opponent).De guzman-Dejong-Vaart will slow up the game and they will not concede much but it will be hard for them to feed Roben,persie and lenz sufficiently.i imagine i would see a less energetic/slow attack team since RVP29,roben29,Nijel29Vaart29Deguzman25lenz25..but things can be differnet with work rate of janmaat,blind and deguzman and if roben starts trackback.pretty solid team with one heart.thats what i feel abt ur starting eleven.

    2. Every defender makes mistakes Laurent . This doesn’t make them bad defenders .
      Puyol , pique , ramos , Ferdinand , terry , stam , fdb , canavaro , pepe and varan .. You can find many vids on youtube for their mistakes , some of them against average players .
      Both de vrij and indi can really grow into really good defenders , especially BMI .

      1. Sure every defender makes mistake, but this tournament was a real test, every dutch player took it serious, and they both made mistakes which cost goals against weak teams. If you add the game against Italy with senior team where De Vrij had a really soft attitude on the italian goal, it becomes quite much and enough to expect them to do it again against strongest teams in WC. About De Vrij, what makes me to worry the most is his attitude, he can improve some things in his play, but I don’t like his attitude, he doesn’t seem to care about his football job, we need leaders, especially in defense.

        No one here seems to rate Vlaar, but he is not bad, it was our best defender in EC. His game against Denmark was perfect, Bendtner didn’t move, Vlaar was winning every challenge, especially with head. Vlaar got two problems : Average pass, and really slow in 1vs1 situation, he was suffering against Ronaldo, which is quite normal. But his anticipations, header, challenges, positionning, authority are all good.

        Tiju : Why wouldn’t VDV and De Guzman feed the attack ? De Guzman is the best option for distribution according to me, better than Clasie and Strootman. He always feed wingers with his long balls, VDV is more for short combinations with RVP and shots.

        1. @laurent i really doubt how much gas they will have for constant running and pressing,work rate is so important.i know vaart has good combo with rvp.and deguzman has good long ball and nijel is the best security we have.So my doubt is on physical fitness,thats a quetion mark.offcourse deguzman has it other2 are on wrong side of 20.

  4. My 23 would be:

    GK: Stekelenburg, Krul, Vermeer

    DF: De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Van Rhijn, Pieters, Janmaat, Viergver, Bruma

    MD: Maher, Strootman, Van Ginkel, Sneijder, Clasie, Fer

    ATT: Robben, Van Persie, Lens, Siem De Jong, John, Narsigh

    I think Siem can play a role as back up striker: he’s very intelligent, has insight, can play the one two marvelously with midfielders even in very tight spaces as shown with Ajax on a number of occasions. He is a bit slow, but he actually moves a lot, putting pressure to defenses trying to play the ball, and has a very nice shot! He is also a very technical player and can be valuable in headers. Why not taking him?

    I have a couple of wildcards.
    Depay, Ake, Boetius, Afellay, Achabar, Klaassen, Tonny Trindade De Vilhena, Gouweleeuw.

  5. siem has never been prolific goal scorer, but maybe it will be important to test him against portugal next months even only second half replacing RVP, if he does good, he can be more versatile player than hunter.

    About 4th CB, after van der hoorn horror performance, quite logical to place bruma as strong candidate, i feel sorry for him to miss valuable experience in u21, not good for him and NT.

    For midfield, with potentially further decline of vaart and sneijder in the next 12 months and average performance of u21, we can say we have no world class players in this area, LVG need to decide his best 6 and prepare and equip them as best as he can and built chemistry between players as early as possible.

    Forwards, RVP-robben-lens-john, and narsingh if he has good full season, otherwise i would prefer to take 7-8 midfielders which are better players than any other available forwards/ wingers. I dont think we need hunter, because If RVP cannot score, mostlikely hunter can’t do it.

    1. “”””Forwards, RVP-robben-lens-john, and narsingh if he has good full season, otherwise i would prefer to take 7-8 midfielders which are better players than any other available forwards/ wingers. I dont think we need hunter, because If RVP cannot score, mostlikely hunter can’t do it.””””””Very well said i wish Van gaal hear this….Gem of clue to WC14.

  6. dutch can win next to Wc games Vs andora and estonia and book the ticket in september itself,they must do that..remaining 2 games and 1 portugal match they must use for building and fixing the team..

  7. Jan I like your selection except I would replace van der vaart for Ricky wolf. I think he will have a great season with Norwich next year

  8. 1 Stekelenburg
    2 Vorm
    3 Krul

    4 Janmaat
    5 Heitinga (back up for RB and CB)
    6 BMI
    7 De Vrij
    8 Bruma
    9 Blind
    10 Pieters (if fit)

    11 Sneijder
    12 Maher
    13 Strootman
    14 Clasie
    15 Fer
    16 Van Ginkel
    17 De Guzman

    18 V.Persie
    19 Huntelaar
    20 Siem
    21 Robben
    22 Narsingh
    23 Afellay (if fit)

    My starting line-up:


    —–Janmaat—De Vrij—-BMI—-Blind—–



    I want to see a midfield that can get the ball back fast and attack. I want our wingers to switch wings during the game to drive our opponents crazy with RVP dropping back and actually playing as he does with Man U! and our defense also attacking.

  9. Guys i think we may be in a bit of a transitional phase for the coming years which im sad to say.

    Its obvious that the talents we have arent as outright gifted as the players like vdv, sneijder, robben or rvp.

    BUT, we do have a more even spread of players and qualities in midfield as we saw in the failed u21 EC.

    I think having lvg as nt coach is good because whilst talent seems to be drying up in terms of readymade dons, we can at least develop the current lot.

    I say this in view of what LVG did at bayern, he didnt win but his work has had a lasting effect 3 seasons on and is responsible for their eventual success.

    LVG can at least restore an identity to the team in terms of play. I mean that in the way that if holland played like the u21s vs italy when under pressure, LVG would karate kick the shit out of them ( in a coaching sense)

    Im not really sure what the solution is for this talent issue, maybe some more players will step up for 2016/18
    like perhaps ake or depay may come good because we did have a good u17 generation. Compare this to our current u21 team, many of the players almost shot up in the space of a season (strootman, bmi, van ginkel) in terms of performance, rather than letting others catch up in terms of development. I am disappointed with the ec like you all are, but i think we need to start building again in the same way germany did because right now we simply dont have the all round talent to win this.

    The only things that can make us competitive again in the space of next season is if Sneijder pulls his finger out and gets on top of his game again. I think a well drilled 433 team with the curent players can do better than the team in 2010 because whilst we aren’t brilliant defensively, we did get to the final with a very dodgy backline and this time the ‘Golden Generation’ know this is really their final chance.

  10. @Steen: I agree LVG can build our future. He can have a huge impact on our young players and will install a winning mentality…the “we are Holland and get out of the way mentality” 🙂

    I saw Depay’s rap video. I really don’t like that and hope he drops it because we saw what happened to Drenthe, Babel, Elia, etc….

    1. That last bit is fair, i know that elia and depay are very close friends, but i think that depay’s rap career has slowed down/ stopped. I think it will be good to see cocu coach him, because cocu is a psv legend so will get depays respect and im sure he can put depay straight…or at least i hope so

  11. I think we will have a strong squad for the World Cup and Oranje will not be favorites this time because of the youth side we will send to Brazil and the disastrous Euro2012.

    That can help a lot, going without that huge pressure to win every game …and Oranje must be mentally stronger…how in the hell could Spain win 3 tournaments such as the Euro, WC in 4 years…they have a superb generation of players but in the past they really sucked as national team and they had talented players too. But something happened mentally in Spain and all their squads go to WIN and their personal interests are left behind and they give one hundred percent for the nation. Holland has had better generations than the Spaniards have now and have just the Euro 1988……hopefully Van Gaal can install that winning mentality for the younger lads and we can collect something in Brazil or next tournaments. I see more chances in Euro 2016 and WC 2018 but with Lucho Van Gaal you never know. I just hope the catastrophic Euro 12′ never repeats again. The defence is getting better and better, that was Van Gaal main task and in one year time I am sure it can still improve.

    Hup Holland!

  12. I think your roster looks pretty good, Jan, though I wouldn’t mind seeing Vermeer as one of the three keepers. Maybe over Krul, but if I’m honest, that’s more about not wanting to look at Krul’s goofy haircut than it is about shot stopping ability.

    Also, I can’t see Huntelaar being in this team and would prefer that a more dynamic player (Lens or Wijnaldum?) who has a great year next year could fill out the roster with a little more explosive capability than Hunter.

  13. I’m also not sure about all of this ‘lack of talent’ business.

    I believe that the greatest weakness of our teams, including the U21’s recent outing, is ‘lack of team’, not lack of talent. Those recent games reminded me of the Euro2012 campaign, with plenty of talent but a seeming lack of a real plan. Not to bring up the Bert van Marwijk bashing that has been prevalent on this blog, but for WC2010, he had a plan, stuck with it, and it worked pretty damned well. His big fault, in my opinion, was not recognizing the need to change his plans two years later for the Euro’s. That and, arguably, not playing beautiful Dutch Voetbal, but my point is that he had a plan, the players all seemed to play according to that plan, and it took us within a shoelace of winning the World Cup. All that with a really weak back four.

    I think that LvG, with all of his experience (and arrogance, which helps), can come up with a better and prettier plan for the next campaign. He’s not the sentimental type, obviously, so the more senior players will recognize that they have to be at their best to even be on the bus let alone starting. If that individual motivation is combined with a playing style that promotes the basic stuff of Total Football and group of talented players with a wide range of players (in terms of age and experience), I think there is a chance for real success in Brazil.

  14. “Derk Boerrigter has not impressed this season as a potential Robben stand-in on the right.”

    @Jan, Have I missed something? Hasn’t LVG been playing Robben on the left?

    I would like to see Van Der Vaart in the side for the same reason as Lens, they have been scoring goals in the NT set up, and both will leave their position to search for opportunities when things get a little stagnant. For the same reason, I’d like to see Wijnaldum get a look if he performs well this upcoming season. I have a feeling that goals will be at an even higher premium in the upcoming WC.

  15. A lot can happen in one year and I’m looking forward to this campaign.

    As Mario said Spanish have been doing a fantastic job not only developing good players but also giving them a winning mentality.

    I personally don’t like VdV so much with the NT but I believe LVG can bring the best out of him…perhaps we can finally see an experienced midfield with Sneijder and Vaart together???.

  16. @Aanvalluh: I agree we don’t lack quality 😉 and once our team starts playing as a unit well I believe we can compete against everyone.

    Now it’s time Sneijder, Robben, RVP and VDV to start being the leaders and not just by having the armband.

  17. My friends: We DON´T need the best players to won the WC. Even we don´t need to be the best team also.

    We were the best team in 74 and 98 and we didn´t get it. Italy wasn´t the best team or have the best players on 82 or 2006 and they won it.

    What we need is:

    1. Great players (no necessary the best, but very close)
    2. Great team (So, a good coach is needed)
    3. Strong mentality (we need to believe we can win, and desire it)

    I think in 74 and 98 we didn´t have number 3 requisite. In 90 and in the recent EC U21 we lack number 2.

    I really trust we can succeed in the 3 requisites under LVG for the next WC:

    1. Great players: We have great players, maybe Germany and Spain have betters (I am not 100% sure about of that) but we have the same level than Brazil, Argentina, etc. So, great.
    2. Great team: I trust LVG can build a great team. He has the knowledge and the expertise.
    3. Strong mentality: IMO this is the historic Netherlands weak point. BVM works a lot on this matter. I think LVG is a hunger of titles coach, and he will enchant all this players with this “wining mentality”.

    So, we have the resources to win the next WC. Maybe Germany and Spain have betters resources, but we have very good ones too.

    More than find the right players, we need to focus to develop a team, with confidence and more important, strong mentality.

    1. This is right in line with what I was trying to say earlier. He main disadvantage, relative to Soain and Germany in particular, is in making this team into a cohesive unit despite the fact that the players’ professional lives have them spread all over Europe rather than playing together on a regular basis.

  18. To be more realistic guys,it will come to individual performance of players who are on the verge of joining news clubs. The defense is on the top of my list and I do agree with Laurent defense option. After the euro 21 you can put a question mark on De vrij – BMI and you dont expect somebody to improve in one year especially when PSV is not Champions league. Pieters is on his way to Fulham and Douglas might end up at Newcastle/Liverpool. I suggest if Pieters can get back to his full strength he can always slot in at CB. This remains to be seen. So as usually I wold go for

    Jammant- Bruma- Pieters- Blind or

    Jamant – Bruma -BMI -Blind or

    Jammant – Bruma -Pieters – BLind

    with blind , Ajax will be in the CL so there is no question mark on him, but however with a fast pace winger, there is uncertainty whether he will able to keep up with the speed.
    with Heitinga and Vlaar I would never take them, with due respect over the past decades they have been the back bone of dutch defense , but I think their body wont be able to keep up come 2014.

    there has been alot of criticism about Van der wiel, But I sure if he performs what is expected from him especially with PSG in the CL, he can make the cut, pushing Jammant inside at CB.This remains to be seen

    so really it will all come to individual performance epecially in CL….

  19. My Brazil 23

    1) T Krul – Class – Balanced – Commanding * Agile
    2) K Vermeer – Phenemenon – Agility – Brill Distribution
    3) M Vorm – Unbelievable Reflexes * Penalty Killer

    1) D Janmaat – Best Balance b/w offence/defence, commandin
    2) R v Rijn – rough diamond – flair but tactless sometimes

    1) A Buttner – great maturity n balance – super dribbling
    2) R Drenthe – Explosive – will revel at Reading!!

    1) S d Vrij
    2) R Vlaar

    3) B m Indi

    1) J d Guzman
    2) M v Ginkel
    3) L Duarte

    1) R v Vaart
    2) W Sneijder
    3) A Maher

    1) L Narsingh
    2) G Wijnaldum
    3) D d Ridder

    1) A Robben
    2) M Depay

    1) R v Persie
    2) K j Huntelaar

  20. Already excited about the Under 19 European Championship. Time for revenge against Spain & Portugal!!

    We have a brilliant team honestly..even more talented than the U 21 bunch!! just look at the names

    Mickey van der Hart
    Nathan Aké
    Terence Kongolo
    Tonny Trindade de Vilhena
    Kyle Ebecilio
    Brahim Darri
    Jean-Paul Boëtius
    Anass Achahbar
    Boy de Jong
    Karim Rekik
    Rewien Ramlal
    Memphis Depay

      1. Oye give d lad a chance…De ridder is unstoppable at his best but unfortunately got put in clubs like Wigan that play ugly n direct..expect him to explode at heerenveen next season n drenthe at reading…let’s forget lens and schaken plzzz…we have way More hope in elia and boetius dis coming season

  21. The CB position still worries me the most, and in the middle, these young midfielders need to be much better to win the WC. I am a bit nervous if we do not have VDV and Sneijder for the WC, and I hope both regain forms/fitness for the WC. I don’t mind Lens or Ola John on the wing in addition to Robben. I just wish that Afellay move to different club and perhaps play like a winger. He can dribble, having decent cross (good connection with RVP). Perhaps he should move to EPL.

  22. Probably one of the weakest areas that Van Gaal needs to further development is midfield. I’m sensing a lack of creativity, especially the build up from defense to midfield. I take note of the many comments made here, that the team tends to overplay circulating the ball around the defenders. This is because nobody seems to take responsibility in pushing the ball forward. Sneijder is too static and position himself more as a second striker than a playmaker.

  23. What we miss/lack is a TRUE leader like Giovanni van Bronckhorst … I remember him counting down every win to the trophy after every interview (3 down, 3 to go, etc). The guy ROCKED. We need Gio’s heart, his mentality. That is the difference maker… the fine line between winning and losing.

    I think that is what Eduardo (above) is referring to by #3.

    Giovanni is a champion in my eyes.

    Can you name a single player on our current team who has this drive, this insatiable appetite for success? No.

    And by the way, Sneijder disappointed me the most because despite being my favorite player of this generation, he suddenly became a self-defeatist. He no longer believed in his ability. He moved to GalaSHITaray at 28. Giggs (ManU) is 39 . Zanetti (Inter) is 39. Beckham (PSG) is 38. All these guys play top level football despite their age. Sneijder is 10 years their junior. If he only believed in himself he would be at a top club right now. This makes me sad and upset.

    Do I think we will win in Brazil? No. Do I dream about it like all of you? Of course I do. Do I bleed Orange? I always will…. but at the end of the day we need to instill self-belief into our squad and inject some realistic optimism… but how can we when our Coach, her majesty Queen of Holland decided to announce his retirement before we even qualified for the World Cup? Time for someone like Fran De Boer to step up to the plate…. or maybe the tone is being set for a final Hiddink moment.

    Gio, is your son playing for the Under-10 team yet?

  24. I was checking some stats about dutch possession :

    Netherlands 0-1 Denmark
    Netherlands 53%
    Denmark 47%

    Netherlands 1-2 Germany
    Netherlands 52%
    Germany 48%

    Netherlands 1-2 Portugal
    Netherlands 58%
    Portugal 42%

    Netherlands 2-1 Brazil
    Netherlands 50%
    Brazil 50%

    Netherlands 0-1 Spain
    Netherlands 43%
    Spain 57%

    I didn’t look for qualify and friendly games, but I can guess we had more than opponent every time (except maybe friendlies against Germany and Brazil). So, in three years, only Brazil had as much and Spain more. And what we can notice is that we beat Brazil and could beat Spain with having equal or less,while we lost all last EC games with having more.

    The most astonishing one :

    Ajax 1-4 Dortmund
    Ajax 64%
    Dortmund 36%

    People who watched this game know that Ajax was doing the classic possession behind, and Dortmund scored on every mistake made by an ajax player, very efficently.

    So when I was saying maybe we would be more dangerous and efficient if we change our style,let the ball more to the opponent, let him to dominate and play with counter attacks…That would be more playing with our current qualities.

  25. OK Gio was great but I believe we need someone more like a Davids. I remember when Holland was playing badly one game and suddenly Davids would get the ball back with a fantastic tackle he inspired his teammates to wake up.

    About Sneijder. Do you really think he wanted to leave Inter for Gala? come on man! he wanted to stay at Inter but they wanted to sell him! of course I’m sad about it too but it’s not his fault! now let’s hope he can move to a better team and rebuild his career.

    1. SO, Sneijder should have waited at Inter on the bench for the right move or taken a salary cut and gone to Spurs or LPool. Are you kidding me? He himself said he no longer was the player he used to be… who says that at 28?

  26. Gio is always valuable, but we need 11 winners to win WC, at the least we need half of the team who can decide a game, what one person can do?
    Gio was there in 2006 QF defeat with Cocu (another player with grit)
    Gio was there too in 2008 QF defeat
    Gio was there in 2010 with bommel, player who we think would take us further in 2006-2008 if he present. He did take us to final. The highest you can get if we dont have 11 winners in the team.

    1. No Jake,i was doubtful of Gio for his pace against speedy wingers in 2010,but gio proved me wrong,Gio was so focused guy who had great years with barca,arsenal and feynoord,especially in barca he was untouchable,he contributed alot for their winning in CL and la liga,unlike Van bommel who got out classed by xavi and co.200CL final after th substituion of van bommel they scored 2 goals they won cl.that says a lot and it was not luck,barca played better with out bommel.
      look at the match of final 2010Wc,105 minute gio was taken for Brpahied and it was a combioned fault of vaart and braphied cost us that fucking goal.Gio was superb and he lead from front..if u look at gio’s career he contributed a lot to his team.unlike Afellay who won Cl with barca,Bommel etc..offcourse i agrre that we need 11 winners but i dont think gio never deserves for the loss we had for 2004/06/08/10 Wc and Ecs.Then comes to cocu,it was cocu who lacked the menatlity of winning not gio.Has cocu won any cl????but i respect his workrate and contribution to team,he awas always on team sheet coz of his workrate.
      For me reasons for the loss in 2006/08/10 are not gio.
      WC2006-RVN is benched and kuyt played.
      EC2008-Roben didnt played,persie got 45 minutes only and we should have created more chances but we didnt and agiain we had kuyt unpfront but this time as slow and noncreative winger.
      WC2010.-evrything was ok and we missed 2 chances one by shear foaul of fuck puyol and other by casillas toe.but we would have scored an early goal if we started with a better winger than kuyt again.
      Ec2012-old guys doesnt had the speed and lungs to cop with opponents bar Wesly,Roben,Persie and Nijel.kuty didnt played so cannt blame kuyt.

  27. Pirlo’s strengthen his name again in confederation cup as the best deep-lying playmaker. We need someone like him to distribute and push the ball forward.

    I dont think clasie ready to do that, de guzman to some extent can do the job but not consistently in the last few games with NT.

  28. Laurent, you are so wrong about your view on possession. It is obvious that teams are now playing to control the ball and the tempo of the game. Occasionally you will find teams that elect to defend and give up possession intentionally either for tactical reasons (Inter vs Barca, Real vs Barca, Chelsea vs everyone last year and yes Dortmund vs Ajax) or because that is the game they play and the style they want. And this is what Dortmund has perfected this year, the art of quick lethal counterattacks that lead to goals. Last week I showed my kids the CL Dortmund-Ajax game from the 1996-97 season right before Kanu, Kluiver and some other left. This was the year we made it to the semi finals and lost to the Juventus of Zidane. What struck me is how we played. It was counterattacking style of the highest caliber. We soaked up the pressure and attacked at a lighting speed. Both goals were scored in the same manner. Loss of possession from Dortmund, turnover, Davids to Kluivert and back to Davids for a goal. The reverse for the second goal. The point here is that as a Dutch team we need to possess. I agree with you that passing the ball back to the GK countless time sis not really possession and I raised that point in one of the comments i made about jong Oranje. I was impressed by Spain’s ability to control the ball in midfield not just at the back. If we can find midfielders who can handle the ball or drop deep to get it then we may really have a chance to play that style. If you look at Ajax this season, the possession was always in our favor. For the Dutch league it was sufficient to win the title. Only 2 losses. But for the CL it was not enough except against Man City. That is because we simply don’t have enough good players who are capable of holding the ball. But at the national level, we have those players. Strootman is perfectly capable so is Van Ginkel. We have to persist with that style.
    As for the balance sheet of the u21 euro, we were clearly one of the 3 best teams, no question. So even though we did not win, it is still a positive.

  29. SUNDERLAND have lined up Dutch Under-21 keeper Jeroen Zoet to replace Liverpool-bound Simon Mignolet.

    The PSV Eindhoven shot-stopper, who was recently called into Holland’s senior squad, was closely monitored by the Black Cats’ new scouting team during the European Under-21 Championship in Israel, starring in his country’s run to the last four.

    And with Mignolet’s move to Anfield expected to be finalised later this week, Sunderland will swoop for Zoet, who has spent the last two years on loan at RKC Waalwijk.

    The Black Cats will pay around £1m for the 22-year-old, having decided against spending big money on a replacement for Mignolet.

    They believe with Republic of Ireland international Kieren Westwood already on their books, the goalkeeping department is sufficiently strong.

    Sunderland want £10m for Belgian Mignolet and are confident that Liverpool, who splashed out £18m on the Black Cats’ Jordan Henderson two years ago, will match their valuation, having had their initial £7.5m bid rebuffed.

    Paolo Di Canio and new director of football Roberto Di Fanti, having already recruited three Bosman signings, want to spend the bulk of their £15m transfer kitty on their top transfer targets.

    These include Inter Milan’s Alfred Duncan, Livorno striker Paulinho and Lazio defender Pedro Cavanda.

  30. Giving up the possession ambition is long term suicide. Making plays, finding space where there is none, creating time where there is none is the hardest challenge for players to be faced with. However as with all things in live, when you aim to do the hardest stuff day in day out, it also pays you back with the sweetest rewards. It builds exceptional quality’s of players in order to pull the things off that are demanded of them. It builds and hones skills that are associated with elite footballers. With elite footballers you win WC’s.

    We should not have looked to the East for answer’s (that would be Germany) and start producing our own robot footballers, but should have pushed for higher possession numbers than 50+% or 60+%. We should have explored how to get in the 70+% numbers. To pull that off, you need exceptional players. Spain is now close to being called the best NT in history (as they win silverware after silverware) and their talent production line is frighting (and not only in field football they are ruling, also in futsal they are a great force). They should be able to keep this very high level up easily for another decade (being among the absolute top favorites to win the title). I mean Pedro is injured in the Confed Cup and they replace him with … Mata (best player for Chelsea over the past 2 years). Isco might even become better than Iniesta. When you demand players to do the hardest thing, you will also start to produce the best players both in quality and quantity. Having possession at the back instead higher up is exactly a cop out method to not having to face the next level demands to deal with tighter spaces and the hard kind of pressure. As you will face those problems, your first touch and close control must be very special and at the same time you must be an industrious person prepared to press every time to regain possession quickly.

    Spain is like a Boa Constructor squeezing the life out of their every opponent they face. You might like it or not, they won’t change their ways after all the success it has produced. This fairy tail that we are so much different and have an own profile to live up to is the stupid ego stuff getting in the way to get us back to world class level, producing world class players. More direct play is code language for not being able to deal with tighter spaces and less time on ball. It’s simply not being able to pull off what some have learned to master in these times. Spain explored the path further and we started looking to the east. How can becoming more German ever be considered being Dutch in the first place? The Germans actually started to study the Dutch ways and thought we were on the right track and they are right. The demands to produce refined players has shifted and we either answer to them or will be left behind. Not less possession, but more and higher up the pitch is what should be next and why stop at 70+%? Let’s see what 80+% possession will start to deliver us. Both in silverware and player development.


    1. How did we get a WC finale in 2010 ? What was the strategy ? Was it a beautiful football ? It wasn’t, we had in average 55% of possession, which is acceptable, and many of our goals were long balls from Sneijder to Robben, smart goals, Van Bommel and De Jong to break the opponent game…

      Except some easy qualify games, we never played a beautiful football.I do believe Van Marwijk tried to find a balanced tactic considering the qualities in the team. Despite of what happened in 2012, I really like this trainer and what he did, I didn’t notice any irrational choice in players or tactic, he was realistic and brought us to a finale betting on individual qualities of Sneijder, Robben, and on a solid midfield to break the opponent game. Van Basten also tried something in euro 2008, knowing that the defense was the weakest area, he didn’t try to renforce it but bet everything on an direct and quick attacking football, which worked quite good (with a bit of luck) till the game against Russia. It was suicidal on long term indeed, but we could score 10 goals in 4 games.

      Why to play a technical football about possession when we don’t have the players for ? Maybe it can seem a bit negative, but honestly, without even talking about Spain or Germany, our midfield is technically poor, we only have VDV who is a real technician with a good short pass quality, De Guzman is more a distribution player, Strootman, Clasie, Fer are no players to play tiki taka…We can’t hold the ball in the midfield with all current technical quality.

      We have two main qualities according to me :

      -Many midfielders able to give quick long balls : De Guzman, Sneijder, VDV, Clasie, even Strootman sometimes

      -Fast wingers : Robben, Lens, Narsingh, Boetius can be a good element also…

      We should play like Van Marwijk did in 2010, an ugly but efficient football. We could beat Spain with 43% of possession, but I’m sure they would beat us 4-0 if we try to rivalize with them on possession and letting space due to our technical mistakes.

      Even Brazil isn’t trying to play a Samba football because they understood they don’t have quality enough anymore for that, we should forget about beautiful dutch total football currently.

      1. I forgot two important qualities : Free kicks,corner kicks and shoot out of the box. About undirect free kicks, We may consider we are the best efficient in this area, how many goals we scored on Sneijder and VDV free kicks ?

        Euro 2008:
        Italy : First goal was just following a free kick. Second goal was a pretty nice counter attack. Third goal was also a counter attack.
        France : First goal on a corner kick, second goal counter attack, third goal build in three passes just after french goal, fourth goal a shoot out of the box.
        Russia : Goal on a free kick

        WC 2010 :
        Japan : Shoot out of the box
        Slovakia : First goal is a counter attack, second goal following a free kick.
        Brazil : First goal is a free kick, second goal is a corner kick.
        Uruguay : First goal is a shout of the box, second one also.

        EC 2012:
        Germany : Shoot out of the box
        Portugal : Shoot out of the box

        Facts are talking, we can’t pretend to play a nice football, we score really few in build attacks following a possession phase, like Spain does. 80% of our goals in competitions games are counter attacks, shoot out of the box and free kicks. In qualify games, we finish with 65/70% and can beat Hungary or Romania with 4-1 and nice build goals, but in competitions we don’t. Seems a bit like Ajax beating 4-0 NEC with nice football but needing corner kicks for Alderweireld to score a header in european games.

        1. Thanks for your reply Laurent, always a pleasure to read your thoughts.

          I think what the issue here is that I speak about Dutch football as a whole and put down the direction we should take. You zoom in on the current quality’s at hand and try to build a plan around them that sees us going as far as possible. Basically making the most of what we have solely focused on the NT.

          That however triggers a fear with me. I don’t want that tactic to be successful in the first place. Even if it would give us the best results, it would create a blueprint for future coaches of the NT and current coaches at clubs both in amateur football and professional football. Success attracts followers. That would create systems in which players are not optimal challenged. Sitting back is simply easier than possession higher up the pitch. It demands great skill to pull off 70+% possession scores. So the fear I have is that my beloved NT long term will consist of less and less gifted footballers which would strengthen the argument to play exactly like you suggest now even further. And there we have it. The downward spiral towards reactive football has been created and the production of interesting players starts to decrease even further. We are already very far from the next Cruyff or van Basten. We need to push back.

          Some things:

          * Why are you arguing for this type of play if we already play it to a certain extend? This Dutch NT is based on the AZ post failed championship team. That team did win Eredivisie in the end with a more cautious approach than before. Van Gaal attacks when he thinks he can, but stays put when the opponent is deemed stronger. Germany was handled with caution, Italy less so. Against Romania away the backs stayed put. He is quite flexible with his tactics, much more than van Marwijk. I don’t think that ones we are at the WC, we come out all guns blazing. We make our own space often by falling deep more and then attack (Turkey second goal, Romania away, last goal). We are more of a hybrid team at the moment. Not always reactive, not always proactive. We are flexible IMO. Against Italy we took more initiative, but that was a friendly. Would you not say that so far we are pretty effective if anything?

          * You signal that we do not have the technical players to play possession. Why does that not concern you?

          * IMO you forget to mention the quality’s of the defenders we have: They are better footballers than defenders. That needs to be counted for as well when making a plan.

          * Van Marwijk never cultivated a passing and possession game with complex patterns and triangles on midfield to unsettle the opponent and create more goals from open play. Of course we will see more goals created by dead ball moments and turnovers then. You extract quality’s from ways goals were created that where encouraged by a play style van Marwijk used and conclude quality’s to score from open play are not quite there as under a van Marwijk we saw less of it. Well, yes, of course I would say, it was never given much chance.

          * I don’t want to win ugly premeditated. I’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey and having a heroic adventure with each other. We should start building towards that future.


  31. Amen to that DRB300. I am in complete agreement. I really think we can get there with the current crop of players provided they don’t waste their careers by leaving too soon. I mean how can Van Ginkel think he will develop at Chelsea? Both he and Maher should go to Ajax (the 2 best prospects), learn how to play football there and then leave in 3 years. This is the only way.

    1. Amen, Jeff . Tht’s why I like the way Maher thinks actually . He said he wants to go to Ajax so he can develop further more .
      Regarding MVG i think Vitesse’ policy ” we won’t give him to a rival ! ” is very bad and destroys the development of dutch football . It may sound foolish but i think KNVB must prevent these acts .

    2. I kind of agree with Laurent – in the sense that van Marwijk got us into WC2010 by “surprising” our opponents with football that was kind of “un-dutch”. And it worked – just imagine if we’d won? (What the heck would we be talking about now!!)

      Anyways – the kind of possession football that DRB300 is suggesting is missing at the moment – and as Cruijff said watching Ajax and Oranje (a couple of years ago)the game was “making my eyes hurt”. So now Ajax is on a path to develop the kind of possession play that we ultimately need – but it takes time. It takes years.

      So in the meantime it does seem wise to have a few “surprises” too – and I guess that was what I was hoping that Cor Pot might have been able to pull off at the UEFA U21 – but no – sadly we were predictably dutch – playing possession but not quite possession and leaving ourselves vulnerable.

      So I agree with both of you –


    1. Lens to Ukraine is really bad news and quite embarrassing for Dutch football and Oranje.

      Btw. this is my first post on this blog, been reading it for a while

      1. Welcome Dozer 😉
        I totally agree, Kiev is not on Psv or Ajax level, that would be Shaktar Donetsk… still, it’s not the team per se that worries me, it’s the football played in Ukraine.

  32. Hence my omission of him.

    In the article, jc said that dutch football – inc Ajax – is operating at 60% of its capability.

    Ac Milan wants bmi. Ajax and benfica want jozefzoon and borussia monchengladbach want Siem de jong

  33. Why are a you guys saying he is going too Russia?? His going to Dynamo Kyiv which is in the Ukrainian premier league which is worse then the Russian League. What a stupid move!!!

    1. I had high hopes for lens in the epl next season. Not the case no more, now we hope narsingh can recover and find form ASAP. Surely no one will like this move apart from Kiev fans

  34. Wingers’ comparison:

    90’s generation
    R. de Boer = Barcelona / Rangers
    Overmars = Arsenal / Barcelona
    Zenden = Chelsea / Barcelona

    2000 generation

    Robben = Chelsea / Madrid / Bayern 🙂
    Kuyt = Liverpool
    Babel = Liverpool (but failed)
    Wingers = Barcelona (still has something to prove and will do it) 😉

    Today’s generation
    Ola = Benfica
    Lens = Kiev 🙁
    Elia = Bremen
    Drenthe = ……… sucked everywhere and don’t even know where he’s playing.

    1. RdB was an attacking midfielder not a winger , however i agree with Miguel it’s kinda disappointing 😐 .

      Perhaps Afellay will make a good move to a good team ; Liverpool, Milan or Valencia .. He can play top football there regularly and this will help us a lot . He will definitely leave from Barça , especially with Neymar coming to the team . He won’t be even on the bench.

      John needs to prove he can play in big games . Benfica is not a bad place to play football actually ” Better than kiev 😕 ” , De maria was there before he goes to RM .
      Anyway I belive Boetius , Depay and van velzen are very talented . Let’s hope they will develop to worldclass players .

  35. In which aspects the ükrainian league is better than Eredivisie?
    Considering that Lens was seeking a step forward by this move ,Is it better financially ? Will he play better football there ? Did he talk with LVG ? I don’t think LVG will agree on such move for his best right winger .

  36. I have to say BMI to Milan will be very good for our defensive line . Their defensive line is too weak , he can easily play as a starter if he wants , and will play in a top defensive league , will be in the CL and may link well with N. de jong there .
    MvG is also wanted by Man utd .

  37. I would expect the veterans in the squad to lead (RVP, Robben, Sneijder/VDV if make it) and perhaps Strootman or 1 or 2 younger players to step up. It is true that we miss Gio’s leadership but LVG has decided to go with younger players and the results are good so far (qualification is almost guaranteed). If this group can have the mentality of the 2010 group, we’ll be fine.

  38. Mohamed I agree with everything you said. BMI to Milan is as promising a deal as Lens to Kiev is a bad one. I cannot even imagine he would want to play there. Especially considering the racist people in the Ukraine. Poor Lens! He was so well suited for the PL. I also hope Siem does not go meet his brother at Borussia. Terrible choice.
    I am so mad at the fact that clubs like Ajax and PSV that are far more prestigious and financially so much sounder than so many other clubs (I think both are in the top 40 clubs in Europe -I know Ajax is the top 15) cannot keep their players and attract even better ones. This is really shocking. At least in the past players would leave for better leagues and possibly clubs but now it is pure madness.

  39. I,ll try something to explain on my bad english…in my opinion ..if Holland want to beat Spain and other “monsters” and being in the top of the world (in the future)Holland team must to have some energy like many persons in the old Holland teams and NT. For change rhythm in the football field and to make “tidal wave”.(ha-haRuud Gullit 19871988,1989 ( then he was weaker and weaker,he became Italian,nothing strange)).How is it possible…So..every team has key players and we can see it.But we can,t see their space because they always run “on the different ways” in this space and protect their team.And their team protect them.And always try(sometimes good, sometimes bad) to made same action on the different ways.It is the unseen root of the game and every team has it , in theirself.(same things you have in phylosophy,paintings,myths,legends..etc)And you must find this root and be as nearer as you can.And then cut the root of “the enemy”.Holland total football phylosophy is made by Dutchman feelings for space , geometry and art and life and” games on the ice..”.Not for circus(although today everything is circus ,maybe, and people love circus ,why not).I said once,for self,Holland total football made by Rembrant,van Gogh and other phylospher, and Rinus Michels only translate it on football game. And on the simbolic way : “big war ,Frodo against Sauron”.And Holland team 1970,s looks like One man.Diego Maradona noticed it for 1974 .Total football (imaginary) is so called because this “one body” can find the root in enemy team ,find this untouchable,unseen space,and break his neck(then comes goals).On that way we have “tidal waves”,or better,spirit waves.Michels see football as a war.Spirit war.Total football is not only ball possession,not 4-3-3 .It was some base 1970s against Latino teams and other, to go in rival box to find” unseen root” etc.After second (Holland ) wave late 1980s and 1990s, Spain and Barcelona take this system and base ,and made perfect circus.Sauron,s power.They became untouchable and maybe they will win in World Cup 10 times…but Spain football is not total football and because is bore(for me).Total football is spirit and art,not perfect circus.Because I said earlier ,only solution for Dutch football is somebody like Rinus Michels on the modern way.(Every ten years!)Then we will see how much need ball possession ,how much running,which system to use etc…I think that Dutchman no chance in circus competition with circus masters Spain,South America,East ,Balkan ,Italy and Africa…Their very young talents play in the strongest clubs in Europe and in the future Holland will never play against Serbia or Croatia ,Bosnia..etc..Holland will play against (England,Portugal,Italy,Russia,Germany(some unknown country)).Dutch players have problem how to be used by coach who dont understand dutch players.Mourinho know how to use Dutch players.Many of them dont know how.It is big problem. And because Ajax,Feyenoord and PSV must be strong .Target for them :Porto,Benfica,Sporting.But for me ,big question is what is target for Cruyff.He comes until some border and start to sold players.From mid l98os yet.And on the end ..u21 in Israel. Negative thing is some fear against Spain.O.K.Under 19 Holland against Spain and Portugal have revenge.But for me is more important matches against Portugal 14.august and Estonia.And waiting on third Holland wave one day.When will come third wave “God only knews”say the song of “The Beach boys”.

    1. @ARS

      I really enjoy your point of view and your thoughts. And I want you to write more of them — but…

      … your posts are arduous to read!

      Please separate your writing into groups of thoughts. “Stream of Consciousness” is OK for James Joyce but not for serious discussions of Voetbal 🙂

      — unless you are actually LvG! — in which case “Stream of Consciousness” is acceptable! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Anyways – in all seriousness – keep up the writing! Your English is good – and it could be much, much better with just a little organization.

      Please take this as helpful suggestion as I said I really appreciate your point of view and your thoughts – they are very interesting.

      Are you writing from the Netherlands?


  40. The versatile defender has caught the attention of the Serie A giants with his fine performances, but the San Siro side are yet to make a formal approach

    Feyenoord sporting director Martin van Geel has dismissed suggestions that AC Milan have tabled an official bid for Bruno Martins Indi.

    The Serie A giants have long been linked with a move for the Netherlands international and a number of recent reports claimed that the Rossoneri have made a formal approach for the defender.

    However, Van Geel has insisted that Feyenoord have not yet received an offer for the 21-year-old.

    “Everything is quiet for now around Bruno. We have not heard anything [from Milan] at this point,” the director told Algemeen Dagblad.

    Martins Indi is a product of the renowned Feyenoord youth academy and has developed into a key player at the Rotterdam giants in the past two seasons.

    The centre-back has a contract with his current club until the summer of 2016, but he could be available for a fee in the region of €8-10 million.

  41. Rumors are Inter Milan are interested in Douglas. Is Bruma still moving to PSV. I still see douglas has the sloution to the defense worse with BMI or bruma with BM1 if he (Bruma ) has a good season in PSV. for me Douglas is a tough and rugged defender and that what we need.
    I also have high hopes for Elia, he a very dynmic winger.If he moves to a top club, I bet he will thrive big time.

  42. ——————Stekelenburg—————

    ——-Heitinga?—-De Vrij—-BMI———–




  43. My list:

    1. GK: Stekelenburg / Vorm / Krul
    2. RB: Janmaat / VdW
    3. CRB: De Vrij / Heitinga
    4. CLB: Martins Indi / Vlaar
    5. LB: Blind / Van Aanholt
    8. BtoB: Strootman (Also Maher, Affelay and De Guzman can play here)
    6. DM: De Guzman / Clasie / Nigel De Jong
    10. OM: Sneijder / Maher
    7. RW: Lens / Narsingh
    9. CS: Van Persie / Huntelaar
    11. LW: Robben / Affelay

    I think we need some veterans in order to give experience to the team. Nigel De Jong is a good player to put in when you are winning and you lost the midfield. Heitinga also is a good sub.

    I am trying to find place for Fer and/or Van Ginkel and/or Vd Vaart. One option is pick up 7 defenders instead 8, and select a back can play on the band and on the center, like Van Rhijn, Bruma or Pieters.

  44. There something I would like to say for certain, whenever it comes to international stage, RVP Switches off like Lionel Messi. I alawys prefer Huntelaar over RVP, but I guess he is moody. My front three would



    1. i lost faith in Afellay..he is mentall..y weak and i dont think he will save us in a crucial match.All he does is dribbling and ends up in vein…while Lenz is more productive check out stat of goals of these 2 wingers for psv.Barca he failed to spainsh ones…44 games he played for NT,still look vulnerable

  45. By Sunday People

    Ibrahimovic reveals how Capello made him a fearsome striker
    13 Nov 2011 00:00

    FABIO CAPELLO stood semi-­naked in front of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and delivered a speech that turned him into one of the world’s most fearsome strikers.
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    FABIO CAPELLO stood semi-­naked in front of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and delivered a speech that turned him into one of the world’s most fearsome strikers.

    Sweden’s goal king has given a ­fascinating insight into the England ­manager’s motivational techniques.

    And now the Three Lions boss must find a way to stop the superstar as the pair meet again on Tuesday in a Wembley friendly.

    Ibrahimovic played under Capello at Juventus from 2004 until 2006 and credits the Italian with turning him into a ­world class predator around the penalty box.

    The England boss has regularly been criticised for poor man-management skills during his reign here.

    But Ibrahimovic uses his new book ‘I am Zlatan’ to reveal the fear he felt ­working under Don Fabio. He reckons Capello knocked the softness from his game, and the forward explained: “I heard Capello shout ‘Ibra, come here’.

    “The anxiety I get from being shouted at like that has never left me, and I started to ask myself: ‘Have I stolen another bike? Or head-butted the wrong person?’

    “When I entered, I found Capello with only a towel on. He’d had a shower.

    “His glasses were steamed up and the ­dressing room was messy as usual. ‘Sit down,’ he said.

    “In front of me there was an old TV with a video player and Capello put a tape in. ‘You remember Marco Van Basten… He moved better than you in the area. I have put his goals on here. Study the movements.’

    “Capello left and I started to watch… After 10 minutes I started to ask myself when I could leave.

    “Had Capello put someone outside to guard the door? It wasn’t impossible.”

    Ibrahimovic was an instant success at Juve as he hit an impressive 16 goals ­during that first term, and also won the player of the year award.

    Capello’s advice was paying off, and even though he did not score as many times during his second ­season, Ibrahimovic still helped them to ­another title and felt he had grown as a player.

    Juve were later stripped of both those league championships for their part in a ­corruption scandal – and after leaving Capello behind he went on to enjoy prolific spells at Inter Milan, Barcelona and now AC Milan. Ibrahimovic, 30, insists Capello completely changed the style of play that had been ingrained in him at Ajax – and the strike ace never looked back.

    He’s in the Sweden squad and could come back to haunt Capello this week.


    Ibra added: “Capello transformed me from someone who makes others play into someone who scores. ‘I am taking the Ajax out of you!’ he ­shouted. And he entrusted me to Italo Galbiati, his assistant, who made me shoot 100 times at goal alone.

    “Then he made me put on weight and watch the tape of van Basten’s goals.

    “He didn’t want me to be out of the area much, he wanted me to be fixed.

    “A little of Ajax has stayed with me – the quality. But even if I now play out of the area more and always look to do the kind of move that motivates me, the first thought I have is to score and to win. That’s Capello’s lesson.”

  46. There is Friendly coming up for Dutch in August with Portugal. I hope Van Gaal uses this game to test his best 11 apart from those injured and start building up to WC 2014. This game will definitely allow van gaal to test his defense . I hope he gives Douglas the chance to play and prove him self and if not Bruma .

  47. Wesley Sneijder and John Heitinga are on Ibiza where they work on a daily basis on their fitness. They enlisted the help of former Ajax and Barca coach Henk ten Cate.

    The website editors of Dynamo Kiev have no clue who Jeremain Lens is :-).

  48. It is very enjoyable to read the many comments offered by fellow (and I assume gals as well)about our favorite national team. Many possible players for many positions, and a year to prepare. It seems to me that the Dutch should easily qualify for the WC, which is part of the problem in that the team will not need to be sharp or learn from losses before they travel to the big event. I hope van Gaal arranges some very touch friendlies–I wish he would bring the team to the United States!–so they can prepare for the real competitions.

    At the end of the day, however, I do not see this team with these athletes being competitive with the world’s best. They are a good team, really exceptional for a small nation, but they are not a team of excellence and talent. They do not compare with the legendary Dutch teams of history. Following the hurtful loss to Spain (we should have won that match!) and then the UEFA 2012 debacle, I very much want them to be competitive, beat some good teams and represent the Netherlands as they have in the past. I really do hope I am wrong about this group, and I would be happy to eat my words, one syllable at a time. I so much admire the Netherlands and their athletes, and I will cheer them on, no matter what. I will check back in to this blog next spring, and hope to enjoy a shared effort as the Dutch travel to Brazil. I appreciate Jan letting me show up once in a while, as well as all of your enthusiasm for this wonderful team.

  49. ——————Stekelenburg—————

    ——-Jammant—-Douglas—-BMI———–Pieters (fit)




  50. 4-3-3 or 3-4-3

    Janmaat – De Vrij – BMI – Blind
    Deguzman – Maher – Strootman
    Robben – RVP – John

    Bruma/Van Rhijn – De Vrij – BMI
    Van Ginkel – De Guzman – Maher – Strootman
    Robben – RVP – John

    3GK: Krul-Stekelenburg-Vorm

    6DF’s (7DF’s, +1 only if bruma in form):
    LB: Blind-Van Aanholt
    LCB: Martins Indi
    RCB: De Vrij – Bruma (if play starter in full season)
    RB: Janmaat-Van Rhijn

    8M’s (7M’s, -1 to drop fer or vaart or sneijder if he is not fit)
    DM: De Guzman-Clasie
    M: Strootman-van Ginkel-Fer
    AM: Maher -Sneijder-Van der Vaart

    6FW’s (5FW’s, -1 to drop Depay f he doestn’t play regular)
    LW: John–Depay (if play PSV starter in full season)
    RW: Robben-Narsingh (affelay stand by)
    FW: Van Persie-Siem/hunter whoever in form

    I have to take Lens out, because easy to predict he will disappear before end of next season.

    1. Depay is geting bulky and this wil affect his agility and stamina,look at Ryan giggs he has played over 20 years.i dont see that kind of physique in depay.i know guy is tough kid not a softy like ola john.i doubt his decison making,etc..

    2. Lenz is tough and so strong and intelligent not like Afellay,John,Narsingh etc,at present he is best winger after Robben.in terams of productivity and team play with persie and effectivesness of team play.I hope he doesnt fad in kyiv and he is a secret weapon for NT.Look at his Goal VS Italy.I doubt Afellay,john or narsing will produce that.i mean his timing,clever finishing,holding abilty etc..

  51. Where is Ibrahim Afellay? Is he still a good player? The Dutch NT should bring him in 2014, if he still plays football. Affelay on the left, Robben on the right…perfect combination.

    1. EC12 Afellay was there with roben and persie what he did???he is a man of useless dribbles with late decision making ability.thats why failed in barca.

  52. GK: Stekelenburg/Krul/Vermeer
    RB: Janmaat/Heitinga
    CB: BMI/De Vrij/Bruma
    LB: Blind/Pieters

    MD: Strootman/V.Ginkel/De Guzman/Fer
    CM: Sneijder/Vaart/Maher

    LW: Robben/Narsingh
    RW: Lens/Afellay
    CF: Persie/Huntelaar

    4 Janmaat
    5 Heitinga (back up for RB and CB)
    6 BMI
    7 De Vrij
    8 Bruma
    9 Blind
    10 Pieters (if fit)

    11 Sneijder
    12 Maher
    13 Strootman
    14 Clasie
    15 Fer
    16 Van Ginkel
    17 De Guzman

    18 V.Persie
    19 Huntelaar
    20 Siem
    21 Robben
    22 Narsingh
    23 Afellay (if fit)

    1. @Miguel,wingbacks requires speed does heitinga has it???.
      Narsingh always has a problem to play with the intelligent players like wes,robin,vaart and roben.Narsingh is an Afellay with better finish and humble attitude.Huntlaar is static and if RVP cannt score then how hunter is goin to score where he was a proven failure in spain and italy bar one season in Germany.

  53. The hierarchy order IMO
    Janmaat>Vanrhijn>Van derweil=3nos
    Blind>Annholt>Peiters>Butner>Williams= 5nos
    Main Holding mids
    Nijel>De Guzman>Strootman>Clasie>Leroy fer
    holding mids come runner
    Playmaker no 10
    Wesly sneijder >Adammaher>Vanginkel>vaart
    Left wingers
    ArjenRobben>Olajohn>urby emmanuelson>Afellay>Depay
    Right wingers
    Jermain lenz>Wijnaldum>Maher
    RVP>Seimdejong>leroy fer(False striker)>Hunter=Luuk.

  54. If LVG wants top play Wesly then he must follow intermilan strategy,
    I cannt see vanpersie csroing goals in WC when wesly is non the feild.We will see one more goal drought for Persie.Persie need players like Vanginkel with him to score..Combination of Persie-Roben-Vanginkel and Clasie would be deadly…

    1. and then
      ————-Leroy Fer————–
      In bench
      Vaart as stand bye

  55. The Denmark international has become Villa boss Paul Lambert’s fourth signing of the summer after the arrivals of Aleksander Tonev, Leandro Bacuna and Jores Okore

    Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of striker Nicklas Helenius on a three-year deal from Danish club Aalborg BK.

    The 22-year-old Denmark international has joined for an undisclosed fee and becomes Villa boss Paul Lambert’s fourth signing of the summer following the arrivals of Aleksander Tonev, Leandro Bacuna and Jores Okore.

    And Lambert is delighted to have completed a deal for Helenius and backed his new striker to be a success in the Premier League.

    “Nicklas is a young lad but also a full international with a good goalscoring record in Denmark and he’ll prove himself in the Premier League,” Lambert told the club’s official website.

    “The opportunity will be there for him, as it will be for the rest of the lads, and he has all the attributes to go and take it.

    “He wants to go and make a name and a career for himself and he’s made a good start at Aalborg. It’s a case of continuing to work hard and building on that and I believe he can.

    “He’s a good player and the potential is there for him to grow into the team and grow with the team. He’ll definitely be able to give the team a hand.”

    Helenius netted 16 times in 33 league games last season, and he’s hoping to thrive in English football alongside fellow attacking stars Gabriel Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke.

    He said: “This is a big opportunity for me, a big dream to play in the Premier League with a club with the history of Aston Villa and I’m very excited,” Helenius said.

    “I know we have a young team and I know we came through a test last season and got better as a team over the course of the campaign. I watched the game against Liverpool at Anfield and was very impressed by the way the team played.

    “As we got more confidence in the game, we became better and better and won 3-1 with some great attacking football.

    “In Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann, for example, we have good players who have great speed and energy and a real love for playing for Villa. You can see this and you can also see the strength and quality of Christian Benteke.

    “It is really exciting to be a part of this and I’m looking forward so much to pulling on the shirt and getting to know my new team-mates.”

    1. Ok, it’s still football, but seriously I cannot see any connection with dutch club football or the national team. Denmark is in an even bigger rebuilding phase than The Netherlands. Losing to Bulgaria, losing to Armenia 0-4 at home, that’s quite an underachievement. They’ll probably qualify for the 2016 Euros, since the upcoming players are very nice prospects, like Eriksen (still, he misses leadership), Boilesen and even more so Viktor Fischer and Lucas Andersen. But for the time being, they are just an ok team with stability problems since after playing a nice Euro. Basically they are no threat.
      Based on a series of factors (e.g. winning mentality, technique, coach tactics…) the strongest squads in Europa are (from my point of view):

      1) Spain, best tactics
      2) Germany, best individual quality
      3) Italy, although Pirlo is aging and I don’t like they’re playing style, we “italians lose wars as if they were football matches, and football matches as they were wars.” (still I cheer them to lose 😀 )
      4) Netherlands, Portugal
      5) France
      6) Russia
      7) England, Belgium
      8) Switzerland
      9) Bosnia
      10) Sweden

      1. Armenia got the best counter attack football in europe according to me.

        Defenders play in amateur clubs from Armenia, Iran, Kazakhstan…But from the midfield, Mkhitaryan, Movsisyan, Ozbiliz would definitly be dutch material, especially the first one.They lost 1-0 home against Malta because of amateur defense, but last year they won 4-0 3-1 to Slovakia for example…

        I’m pretty sure Holland would have hard time against Armenia,Mkhitaryan would kill us on counter attacks.

        1. Mkhitaryan is the only exceptional player they have. Ozbiliz has great technical abilities but has a terrible attitude, I was very happy when Ajax sold him. I’m pretty sure we’d have an easy time against them. We managed to beat Turkey and Hungary which are good counter attacking teams.
          A team that can’t beat Malta is pretty low on my book.

          1. U have no idea what ur talking about…I saw the whole4-0 crushing of Denmark..I haven’t seen that kind of heartbreaking attack play for a long time…Malta scored a freak goal..n didn’t attack..armenia can’t break teams down..but on the counter…on par to Germany if not beget…serious dark horses to qualify for Brazil behind Italy…consider that Denmark played 2 potential of world class centre backs in kjaer and okore…n btw d article does mention bacuna a dutch player who aston villa signed as well

          2. ok, still they will not qualify. they have 6 points from 6 games, two of which played against malta, that’s a pretty appalling score, isn’t it? And count that Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Denmark have virtually 3 points (the former two) and 6 points (the latter) in the bag since they’ll play Malta in the last games, whereas Armenia is going to play Denmark, Bulgaria, Italy and Czech Republic, and can get 6 points out of it at most. So, seriously someone here is so negative to think we wouldn’t beat Armenia(?!?!) when it matters? geez…

          3. Alberto, Netherlands would probably beat Armenia on two games, but I’m sure we’d have problems with counter attacks, they play too quickly, combinations are perfectly executed. Though, the defense is too too weak, no armenian defender got a professionnal contract, it’s like we would only have players from 2nd division in Holland…

            Except Mkhitaryan, Movsisyan from Spartak is also a great striker, he finished with 13 goals in russian championship, best score with Wanderson. We take guys like Van Wolfswinkel, so he would definitly be dutch material.

  56. Tiju I don’t know many times you watched Afellay to say that he dribbles a lot, he is the one who developped the fake tiki taka in selection games last year.


    + it’s useless to compare goals and assists with Lens, Afellay played last 15 months as midfield controller with PSV, while Lens played RW or striker.

    I still have the impression you don’t know Afellay and think he is a kind of Ben Arfa, which is completly wrong.

    1. @laurent i expected Afellay to grab the spot of kuyt,he has played 44 matches for NT as winger,all he showing is peed and dribbling and taking so much time to pass to next guy.Not a convincing finisher too..He disappointed me a lot and still disappointing..Over all i feel kuyt is more capable than him.At least kuyt has brilliant and effective passes.i didnt look in to his stat as winger for NT but i think he has very few goals compared to lenz.I dont much go in to stat but the way Afellay plays and Lenz play is different and main thing is lenz ends in goal when the team is needed goal and lenz doesnt choke aginst big teams.

      1. Kuyt more effective pass than Afellay ? Do you realize what you say ? Afellay is basically no winger, he is number 10. And he played 15 months as midfield controller with PSV. Do you think a guy like Kuyt would have pass quality enough to play central midfielder ?

        Problems of Afellay : Not efficient enough in his last decision, lack of physical power, and big lack of tactic understanding without the ball. His biggest defect for me, in Barca his positionning was really silly sometimes, he seemed to be lost on the field.

        But with the ball, he is better than Kuyt in every thing, passes, skills, shots, speed…

        I don’t know from which game comes your idea that he dribbles too much, he only tries to speed in 1vs1 situation, which Lens, Schaken etc. also do .

        1. “””Do you think a guy like Kuyt would have pass quality enough to play central midfielder ?”””
          “”Problems of Afellay : Not efficient enough in his last decision, lack of physical power, and big lack of tactic understanding without the ball. His biggest defect for me, in Barca his positionning was really silly sometimes, he seemed to be lost on the field.”””
          Kuyt passes are acurate,kuyt positioning is brilliant and he has clever interferance in defense.i agree that we dont create so many chances with kuyt(08 vs russia,10 spain,brazil) but defense is more tight when he is there.Still i really dont like his skills on ball and speed.
          After considering games for orange for both,i felt kuyt was more effctive when he was on field compared to Afellay.thats all dear..

        2. @ Laurent:

          He has no idea what he’s talking about. It’s like reading the childish ramblings of retard. Just ignore him (like the rest of us do) and hopefully he will get the hint and go somewhere else.

    1. potentially yes, but (I think) they lack winning mentality. I think they can cause a few troubles at the Euros in 2016, but not in Brazil. They have a couple of natural leaders, Verthongen and Van Buyten, but they don’t have other players used to winning. If you compare we have Van Persie, Robben, Sneijder and from the new generation Van Rhijn and Blind already won three titles. I think you can’t win a World Cup without players used to winning.

        1. I think Greece in 2004 took advantage of a transition period of European football. France was the strongest squad probably on paper, but put in nothing short of a suicide, as in 2002. Germany and Italy would have been contenders but totally failed in the group stage (and still Germany had a very weak squad compared to today). Netherlands was a very unstable team at the end of a generation of footballers and Portugal felt the pressure of having a golden chance to win. The team playing the best football on my book was the Czech Republic, which probably should have won it… I remember the late Greece goal came from a corner that shouldn’t have been taken since it was after the end of extra-time.
          I doubt that Greece could have won in 2000 or 2008 or 2012. Still, I think they played with much more heart respect to many dutch players. I think Belgium have a much better squad than that particuar greek squad, but now you have a squad at its peak (spain), a super talented one made of champions league finalists with a couple of very experienced players (germany) and many teams with a couple of superb individualities as brazil, argentina, portugal and the netherlands, italy.
          Underdogs rarely win the World cup.

  57. Speaking of defense, I’m not completely sure that De Vrji is the right man. Do you guys think that Douglas would be a better choice? If BMI goes to Milan, he won’t play together with De Vrji anyways and we might as well change him for someone better. And for the LB position, we really have no one better now than Blind? Seriously?

    The biggest concern, however, is that we are lacking a Bergkamp, Kluivert on Van Nistelrooji in front of the enemy’s goal. Van Persie is a very talented player, but he’s not a killer like those three guys were. What is more worrying, Van Persie hasn’t really performed as well for the NT as he has for his clubs. If he is injured, who else do we have? Luuk de Jong, who has been a complete disappointment? Huntelaar? Is that guy still playing football by the way?

    Ultimately, you have to have players who are able to score goals. This is the real reason why we lost the U21. Good chances but terrible finishing because we didn’t have players who are natural born killers in front of the goal.

    1. I share the same views regarding rvp, he is an unbelievable player for club but everytime he wears oranje he becomes captain fumbles. But sadly there is not one better at this stage. Luckily anything can happen in a year and hopefully someone with balls steps up

      1. Did you watch how Van Ginkel played in U21? He is not ready to take the big stage, he is completely raw and undeveloped as a player. Maybe he will be great one day, but he will definitely not be ready in 2014. Also I have a very hard time picturing how Van Ginkel would fit into the 4-3-3 model preferred by Van Gaal (without losing too much creativity in the midfield).

        1. i watched all games of U21 Isreal.All i felt was our second bench was not good bar Leroyfer,Clasie,and Annholt.
          Vanginkel was verywhere and he was(his running)was a constant menace for the oppnet team and he had some beatyufl passe and one of the best player for us.if you saw a free flowing game it was due to the workrate of Maher/ginkel/stroot.Persie need players like Maher/clasie and Vanginkel arround him.i wish he goes to MANU..

  58. I think now that v.Persie has been given the captains armband he will step up and become lethal for Oranje like he has done at club level

    1. Persie runs hot and cold, so IMO he just has to work through slumps. I’m glad that LVG gave him the armband, so that RVP will have a chance to work through this… with his ManU success under his belt.

      Persie is a threat whenever he touches the ball, like Robben, the kind of player who opens space just by being there.

      I think the path to Brazil runs right through RVP’s slump, not around it. There’s no one else who gives such potency at striker. If he runs hot at Brazil, so will we.

  59. There’s enough quality now we just need to play for the same goal….the trophy.

    Spanish teams have issues but they always support each other when it matters, everytime they score a goal even benched players celebrate it! that shows their good spirit so LVG has to work on that.

    GK: Stekelenburg, Krul, Vermeer, Vorm

    RB: Janmaat, Wiel, V. Rhijn

    LB: Blind, Annholt, Pieters, Büttner, Willems
    CB: Devrij, BMI, Bruma, Heitinga, Vlaar, Viergever,

    HM: Strootman, De Guzmán, Clasie, Nigel, Fer, V.Ginkel
    CM: Sneijder, Maher, Vaart, Wijnaldum, Siem

    LW: Robben, O. John, Emanuelson, Afellay, Depay, Boetius
    RW: Lens, Narsingh, Kuyt, Schaken
    CF: V.Persie, Huntelaar, Wolfswinkel, Luuke

  60. Well said, Bob! Same opinion here too. Even though this team is not as good as the 74,78,88,98, 2008, 2010 squads, I still hope they surprise most people to win 2014 World Cup. I want this very badly as I prefer the attitude to win when you are in the tournament (not 4 years from now or down the road; and I am ok with the coach’s publicity stunts to take pressure off the players if he has to). They are (mostly) young, hungry and have not won anything major (no CL, Europa League, Euro or major league titles like EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga with the exception of Sneijder, Robben and finally RVP). I hope LVG can give them a tough/winning mentality (play the whole games, not 60 minutes; can come back and win games from behind/watching Netherlands-Brazil 2010 QF again). I hope those can offset their lack of experiences and skills. About the squad, I only see the following are LVG’s favourites at the moment: Janmaat, V. Rhijn, Blind, De Vrij, BMI, Strootman, Robben, Van Persie, Lens. We will see who is on best form when the new season begins then see who will give us the chance to win in Brazil.

  61. Tiju, could you please stop the bullshit about bashing Afellay in every blog? Are you not tired of spreading that crap over and over again? I guess many people here are already. And it is exactly CRAP. And let me tell you why.

    Your reasons about why Afellay sucks:

    1/ He failed at Barca.

    Please pick another RW/LW/CM in our squad (bar Robben) at the moment who can succeed at Barca.

    Sad answer: No. Noone. It is not like we have Robben, Overmarcs, Zenden and Ronald De Boer to pick and some guys suggest us to pick Afellay. Nope.

    We have a bench-warmer at Bremen, a RW that is going to Dynamo Kiev, a RW/LW that is already 32 and playing in Turk league.

    So your first reasons is extremely non-sense.

    2/ He dribbles a lot and bring no value.

    Your argument is mostly based on his EC 2012 performance. That’s fine. But what about others in that tournament? The team was collapsing. Only 2/3 players played up to their decent level. So what? If that the case, we could just go ahead and kick RVP out of our team for his EC 2012.

    3/ I just have to show my hatred to some of the Dutch players. It was Kuyt, now is Afellay and maybe Sneijder.

    I think everyone in this blog understand this. But what for? You really have nothing to do?

    If you want to promote Emanuelson/Van Ginkel, you can just say positive things about them. For god sake, what is the reason for bringing Afellay/Sneijder in the comparison with them? And not just compare but basically saying that Afellay and Sneijder are useless.

    4/ I am a prophet and I see things that others do not.

    Please stop this CRAP. Your correct “prediction” is about the abysmal performance of the team during EC2012. So what?

    You are basically crying in every post about some of the players in the team. Eventually, there will be a time that Oranje fails to perform. So your prediction comes true. What the heck?

    And let me tell you that others see things too. We are not having good league. None of the talents break through for many years. But we are not cursing our team right before the tournament. We do not say CRAP like this “Trust me. Oranje will fail miserably at this tournament.”

    So please stop your BS oracle stuff. If you watch some games and see some Dutch players doing good, you are welcome to post your opinion about that.

    Just stop doing this: watching all Oranje games (who doesn’t), see the players fail in that game and keep dragging this prediction for a year.

    1. So should Affelay be given another chance with the NT? Will he be? I’m curious to know what his status is. He was a player seemingly of great promise, made the NT, then he got hurt, then there was the Euro 2010 disaster and reports that he was arrogant and has a bad attitude…etc. A bunch of bad news, and then his move to from Barca to Schalke. How did he play for that team? Will Van Gaal give him another chance or no?

      I think Van Gaal’s biggest challenge will be to put together a strong midfield, with chemistry and good work rate, going forward. For all the talk the last few years about the questionable back four, the midfield play since 2008 has been shaky. Van Persie has struggled to score with NT partly, if not mostly, because the Dutch NT lacks chemistry and he has not gotten the service with NT that he did with Aresenal and now MU. Maybe that will now change a bit now that Robben is playing more unselfishly, though VG needs to get a handle soon on who will play midfield. I think that great strength of Spain is that the players know each other well and have great chemistry. That is not usually the case with Holland.

      1. If I remember correctly, he had a good start for Schalke then had two injuries.

        I am not a supporter of Afellay myself. He has some good skills but his mentality is not strong enough. And he has a series of bad injures so I doubt if he could recover. Currently, he is seeking a move to EPL http://metro.co.uk/2013/06/19/ibrahim-afellays-agent-hints-at-spurs-move-by-revealing-desire-to-play-in-england-3847691/

        I agree with you that Van Gaal must create a midfield with chemistry, synergy and balance. We should not fool ourselves that we have better or equivalent players compared to Spain/Germany. If we win, we will win as a unit, not because of individual. There are some individuals that are strong at the moment like RVP and Robben. Other than those, I think everyone else is replaceable.

    2. @Kevin the thing is as an orange fan i wanted them to win a trophy,with some players it is not possible.if orange drop those players then orange have better chance.still you need unity,grit and unslefishness to win trophy.You dont need a barca winner to win the cup when you have players with unite heart,Righters was not a big talent but with him we won u21,though it was a total team effort and i am sure they played unslefish football.I thought Afellay would come up but he failed miserably.i dont think if Afalley was in team for U212007 they wouldnt have won that,fortunatly it was bakal who played well instaed of him.Bakal came to team for injured Afalley.
      I dont hate any players more but i dont like the unskillness of kuyt,Lack of intellignec/attitude of Afellay,etc.From past 7 years what i learned was When orange face a strong attacking team and if they field any one of the following kuyt,Afellay,Narsingh,schaken,Devrij(Slow)i just swith off the Tv and i dont watch the game anymore,cause i know what result we are goin to get.One more thing newly added to this list is it will be very hard to see persie scoring goals when wesly on the pitch.its the high time choose between persie and wesly.
      Lenz would do much better than afellay in barca and in orange,Thats for sure.I dont deny that RVP doesnt choke ,he also chokes at times.So use him and seim dejong according to the opponents.

      1. @Tiju: No offense but I feel like I am talking to a wall. You do not even think before you response.

        Here is the evidence:
        “You dont need a barca winner to win the cup when you have players with unite heart”
        -> ” When orange face a strong attacking team and if they field any one of the following kuyt”

        Now tell me how Kuyt is not the guy that will unite the team? How?

        In fact, if the deciding factor is mentality then Kuyt is top of the list. But guess what, he is also top of your hatred list and he is still there.

        Now what else?

        You said that you wanted Oranje to win trophy and u switch off TV when some of your hated players played.

        I said SHAME ON YOU.

        If everyone is taking your method, then this team has almost no fan. Because they won a single trophy until now. So what? We are not plastic fan. I am not plastic fan. I have followed this team from 1992 until now and in this period, I have many heart breaking moments. But I still follow this team. In the last EC, we played like ***** (whatever you want to fill there). My friends were joking about that when they were watching with me. I did not switch off my TV. I watched till the end of the Portugal match.

        Now the last thing I want to say is that: why are you even doing that? To show that you see the future and we do not? I would never think about switching off my TV because of some players on the field?

        You spend too much time here. And there are many passionate and nice persons here. Why would you want to disrespect others? Why would you want to show that you see something and we do not?

        I really mean DISRESPECT TO OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS BLOG. Why? Because we are not retard. Take me for example. I have watched this team for 20 years. You think I do not see these basis knowledge? It is ok if you said one time: In my opinion, Afellay is dribbling a lot without any result.

        But you did not do that, you constantly say Afellay is useless dribbler IN ANY BLOG. And if anyone ask how is Afellay doing, would he come back to NT. Then you reply with the same content. What the heck is that? The guy is asking if Afellay will transfer somewhere or if he is still injured. And you said he is useless. Do you think if you answer his question?

        You exactly treat us like some retarded moron who can not even read.

        Everyone made mistake. It is time to take it on the chin. Admit your mistake and change the attitude.

    3. @ Kevin:

      There’s very little point in wasting energy on the moron. Not directly at least.

      He has one theory. An incorrect theory.
      He likes to post it at least 10 times a day in every article – hoping that maybe one day some other witless retard might actually agree with him. Haha! Never gonna happen. But still, it IS entertainment for the rest of us.

      He admits he doesn’t watch games featuring Kuyt or Afellay, etc… (we doubt he watches ANY games)
      He admits he doesn’t read statistics etc… (he doesn’t need evidence)
      He compares players from different positions (even different eras), and cites these comparisons as relevant and valid to the point of insult…
      He preaches about imaginary nonsense like Jesus etc… (*shakes head* – what can you even say to that shit??)
      He treats our National team like a club side.
      He is consistently rude and vile about our heroes, and cries ‘racism’ if anyone asks him to stop disrespecting the Dutch (players, managers, fans) – which is even funnier considering his complete and utter failure to understand what ‘race’ actually means.
      We are not dealing with a misunderstood genius here. This is someone who genuinely lacks the power to ‘think’. It’s not just that he doesn’t try to think. It’s that he is incapable of it.

      Sadly, in this age, these sorts of mouth-breathing idiots have access to the internet. Sadly, they lack the intelligence (or even common sense) to express their opinions in anything other than incoherent hate-filled rants, and we bear the brunt of these intellectual failures.

      This particular cretin lacks even the very most basic of communication skills.
      Take a look at posts by DRB300, Jan, Alex and several others. Insightful. Learned. Educational. Respectful. Clear. Consistent in theme and varied in example. It is both exceptional reporting and wonderful commenting.
      Now take a look at Tiju’s posts. Don’t bother reading them. Just look. No-one ever replies (except to remind him he is wrong and rude). This is VERY telling.
      See, no-one cares about the ridiculous crap he writes. The only times we are forced to engage him in communication are when he replies to other people’s posts – always as if he is some authority on the matter in hand. I have no idea why he would assume we would ever think that. His reputation here is a joke, but still his delusion prevents him from seeing it.

      The attitude. The disrespect. The unwillingness and inability to think. The short temper. The complete and shocking lack of football knowledge. The rudeness. The inability to spell names correctly – sometimes in two or three different forms in a single sentence! The repetition of posts. Every. Single. Hour. Of. Every. Single. Day. The same awful awful childish nonsense over and over again.
      It’s so embarrassing that this is clearly the work of someone with mental health problems, perhaps serious.
      Worse still, his fixated affection for ‘young’ players concerns me greatly – I wouldn’t trust this guy near a school, let’s say.

      There’s no arguing with this clown. He will not answer your questions. He’ll respond that you are a racist idiot, he’ll reassert his initial single incorrect theory, he’ll tell you Jesus says it’s correct and then he’ll post it again another 10 times in the same day. Feel free to check any article from the last 2 years for evidence of this.

      It’s tempting to show him how wrong he is, like you have done so well above ^, but to be perfectly honest i rather enjoy watching the little idiot roll around in his own excrement.

      Also, as a side note, his ‘prediction’ about 2012 was NOT correct. He stated that we would lose if we played Kuyt. In fact we lost exactly because we didn’t play someone with the energy and commitment of our Dirk.
      Ignore the retard and hopefully one day it will just disappear to go clog up the Spanish football fansite with its unique brand of rudeness, ignorance and incompetence.

      1. Wow what a good post……..keep it up .write one more essay..Dont get humbled once again,dont be this arrogant.Troll………….dont say kuyt didnt play, he played.stay in ur own dream that a mediocre players win a trophy.hype the average players and critzie them when they loose,opportunistic evil…Go back to ur home. ha ah my writings controll you ha ha cannt stop laughing…i win u loose.

          1. tiju plz stop making a fool outta urself…did u just randomly add narsingh into the list of players that u make holland lose and a player who when playing u switch the tv off…are u a living talking turd?? when did narsingh play in a game for holland…and not perform or a game where he played and they lost…he has only played a couple of games..and performed and scored admirably in all of them…oh wait that shudnt matter..am sure jesus agrees with u??

          2. Enough of this shit. You’ve turned reading this blog from a pleasure to a painful experience. Fuck you Puff TMD with your multiple names and personalities. As much as Tiju says unintelligent stuff, your comments are poisonous. Do us a favor and fuck off this blog. I can live with Tiju and his annoying comments, but I can’t live with your arrogant ass; you fucking prick.

  62. At this point all I care about is a trophy. I believe you can win it with an average team, all you need is hunger, team unity and a brilliant coach.

    1992 EC: was Denmark the best team?
    2004 EC: was Greece the best team?
    2006 WC: was Italy the best team?

    The answer is of course “no”. But they still won.

    But being a fan of the Netherlands team one must be realistic. 🙂

  63. Now Maher is too expensive for Ajax!!


    Come on!!!

    Why Ajax like to sell their players in order to save money if they don´t want to spent it buying another ones?

    They still are regret for not singing Narshing last season what cost them play without a right winger.

    I will get very upset if Ajax don´t buy Maher for next season.

  64. The biggest worry for me at this point in time is that, will Van Gaal have enough time to build up the right combination of team come the end of next season somewhere in June 2014 . I do agree that there are only few players who I think are front runners and that will definitely make the cut in 2014. Likes of Jammant, Robben, Lens, RVP (if not injured). The rest are all question mark and will depend on how they perform in the upcoming season. (domestic league and CL). Likes of Pieters, Afellay, Sneidjer, Van der Vart, Narsingh all are either injured or below underpa.
    Wolf winkle – Norwich
    Pieters – Stroke
    Douglas – Inter/Newcastle
    Buttner – Man U
    Bruma – PSV
    BMI- Milan
    Elia – CSK Moscow
    Van Der Wiel – PSG
    Ginkle – Man u/Chelsea
    Strootman – Man U
    The question is, given the performance of the above players next season, how will Van Gaal mould the team based on their performance and will he have enough time to do this. At this point in time he still is rotating players trying to find the right combination. U have to look at teams, Brazil, Italy, Spain playing in the confed cups now . U might see almost the same players come wc 2014 with few new lads who were standouts in Euro 21. That is something that I don’t see in the Dutch Team right now. Its all a wait and see game and with that little time frame that we have, scares me the most. Contrary to this there no team in the WC Qualifying that can push Dutch to limits and expose their weakness.
    WC qualifying 2000 and 2001 when Holland were with Portugal and Ireland, that year also Van Gaal was incharge and were raided big time and never qualified for WC 2002 in Japan. My Point is he should by now exactly know whom he should play especially given the experienced players that he has and then by injecting young upcoming lads. For example for most of the WC Qualifiers and international Friendlies he (Van Gaal) has been using BMI AND De Vrij as CBS but in the Euro 21 their weakness was exposed. If you look at Douglas, If teams like Inter Milan, Liverpool, Newcastle, Anzi are interested in him, then how come he is not in the Dutch team. This shows something is wrong somewhere. This is also evident when he (Van Gaal) suggested that for him Buttner does not exist.

    Some info on Hunter, I have been keeping a close tab on him. Somebody commented on the blog that if RVP cannot score, than hunter cannot score to. That’s bullshit. CL against Arsenal (both legs), Dortumand in the league when beat them and his average goal was 1 goal /2 games. He score 13-14 goals for schalke in Bundasliga and also missed 5 games due to injury including the CL Quarters against Gala.. My point when it comes to scoring goals he is better than RVP and the other thing if Sneidjer and robben are playing you can’t expect RVP to score. The game against Indonesia and China. (apart from that plently). You can’t have somebody who takes 10 shots and scores 1 goal.

    This what I would like to see . There is a friendly coming up in August for Holland. I hope Van Gaal prepares his best 11 that comprises of players who will be there in WC 2014.(apart from those injured). This is my possibles;


    Jammant – Douglas – BMI –Pieters

    Van Ginkle – classie


    Lens – Huntelaar –Robben



    Van der Wiel – Jammant – BMI –Pieters

    Van Ginkle – S. Dejong


    Robben – Lens – Elia

    1. You make some fair points but what part of RVP as Captain of the NT makes you think he would ever be replaced by Huntelaar, it’s a waste of time talking about the Hunter, unless RVP breaks a leg or something .

      Our problem is the mid field, my feeling is it’s either going to be “too old” (snijder/Vaart) or “Too Young” Ginkle/Stroot/Maher/etc. Without fixing this problem the strikers will struggle for quality ball and hence a lack of goals. Lets hope another year brings our youngsters up to the level that will be required

    1. De Ridder is one of the less efficient player I’ve seen. I wasn’t surprised when he started to go to Israel, Switzerland…Typical player who got skills but no tactic understanding, no athletic qualities,no influence on the game, he does everything alone on his side and it ends to nothing, even in those weak leagues, he wasn’t able to reach 10 goals.

  65. I seem too remember hearing that at the Euro’s Afellay’s arrogant attitude due too his recent signing with Barcelona really did a lot of damaged team moral and also remember hearing that he trained often by himself and not with the team….

  66. Nigel de Jong has recovered from his injury and will feature for AC Milan against Man City in some kind of cup ans also San Paulo and Bayern. Winners to face each other. Another thing, was wolfswinkle playing LW for Sporting Lisbon. I think he will be the secert weapon for holland @ WC 2014. Ginkle and RVP at Man U can develop into class act.

    1. well he was the star in the swiss league just a year ago ..and played pretty decently back in holland with sc heerenveen last season…expect him to have a big season along with drenthe and elia this coming season…and board the plane to Brazil!!

      just imagine..big seasons for Depay, Elia, Robben Boetius & Drenthe on the left wing ->> and if De Ridder, van La Parra and Narsingh strut their stuff on the right wing!! jeremain who??? ruben who ??? florian who ??? louis van gaal will be spoilt for choice…

  67. I don’t know if i’m the only one in this blog who feels we’re going pretty far in Brazil . I think we can reach the semi-finals as LVG hopes .

    Look at Italy today against Japan . It’s funny to see how their fans are happy with the win .
    So, instead of bashing our team because they lost in a useless u21 tournament due to mistakes of an idiot coach , we should belive more in them .
    We don’t have to be Spain to be the champions . We had a stronger team than the current Spain 10 years ago and they didn’t qualify to the WC . Just believe in the team .

    My line-up :

    ___________ Steklenburg ________

    Janmaat __ N. de jong ____ BMI ___ Pieters

    ________ Stroootman _______

    ___ Van ginkel ____ Sneijder _

    Lens ____ persie ____ Robben

  68. De Jong height will be a problem in aerial tussle especially with taller strikers.

    Steklenburg ________

    Janmaat __ Bruma ____ BMI ___ Pieters

    ________ Stroootman _______

    ___ Van ginkel ____ Sneijder _

    robben ____ Lens ____ Wolfswinkle

  69. I do agree with that,but when it comes to defending from stand off especially during corners it always hard for shorter guys to defend (jump) especially with taller backs coming in to attack. That something that u will see with Philip Lam of Germany. Torres explioted that against Germany in EC 2008 or WC 2012 (Not sure).

  70. It is official that Ajax is no longer interested in Maher. So I guess he will end up at PSV. Ajax wants Duarte. I also read that it is likely Siem De Jong will stay.
    Jan, do you have any confirmation of this? This info is from Ajax.netwerk, usually pretty reliable. I feel that Duarte would be a great buy for Ajax. He is exactly what we need. I don’t think de Boer is all that excited by Maher.

  71. Well , i have to say that as much as i appreciate Overmars as a player , he seems to be so useless as a football manager in Ajax .
    The man obviously can’t make deals! He can’t get Van Ginkel or Maher who are two of the best talents in Holland , instead he goes for Duarte who is just a good player . He has to understand that Ajax has to go far this season in CL and he needs the best talents .
    For me , getting knocked out before reaching the quarter-finals in the CL next season is not acceptable !
    On the other hand , does PSV really need Maher ? Or it’s just to stop Ajax from getting him ?

  72. My Fantasy Team

    T Krul

    D Janmat__R Brouwers__J Hooiveld__R R Drenthe

    ___________________N de Jong_________________

    D de Ridder__R van der Vaart__A Robben__E Elia

    ___________________van Persie_________________

    2nd Half:

    –> L Narsingh
    M Depay
    W Sneijder
    <– R van der Vaart

  73. Not really in link with the topic, but dutch football is being awful, it’s going on a way I can’t even understand what the goal is.

    Mertens going to Napoli for 9,5mo ? WTF ? They bought him 7mo two years ago, he was the most productive PSV players two years, still have three years of contract, and they sell him only for 2mo more ? What’s the goal ?

    Asare who is Utrecht captain and a good player, 27 years,leaves Utrecht to go to AA Gent ? WTF ? Has anyone ever seen a good player from Everton going to scottish championship, to Hibernians or Inverness ?

    Lens to Dynamo Kiev…

      1. hahaha WTH,.,,lets just sit back n laugh…babel and lens weren’t of oranje standard for the long term…they wont be missed…i have a feeling narsingh will have a great season back from injury..i think its finally afellays time to have some luck on his side for a change..with regards to injury..and he can be dazzling…depay if he steers clear of rap and the subs bench will grow into a potential world beater…i really have a gut feeling that de ridder will at last put his best and force himself into van gaals books…same goes for drenthe..who i will be able to monitor better at reading then at some weird club…i also unlike many predict great things for van la parra..though he was dropped from the u 21 squad….last but not least ..lets not forget eljero elia…i remember a time when we were drooling over the prospects of robbelia ?? remember…that is still possible in brazil!!!

  74. Dynamo paid about 9 million Euros to PSV. Lens is going to earn about 2 million Euros a year in the Ukraine, which makes him one of the 10 highest-paid Dutch football players.

  75. DRB : I just have the Netherlands today wanna take example on Spanish football. Which teams except Spain and Barcelona liked to have 75% of possession in the football history ? If you look from closer, spanish football is really formated for that. Most of the players are almost the same profile, Mata, Silva, Iniesta, Cazorla, Koke, Isco…Same profile physically and technically.

    The key is homogeneity. If they could take one prototype of player and duplicate it every where on the pitch, they would do it. They don’t use any classic wingers for example.

    Barcelona used Messi as fake striker first, worked really good, De Boer tried to do it with Eriksen, it wasn’t working that well. Why to copy them ? Bayern beat Barcelona 4-0 with 34% of possession, playing with their own forces.

    To answer to your question “Doesn’t that concern you that we don’t have players for possession ?”

    I’d say yes and no. First, comparing to Spain, the Netherlands is a more multicultural country and it’s the same for football. We have more different type of players than them. Holland created the only black player who was a world class offensive midfielder : Seedorf. You can’t find any other Seedorf in France, England, Africa etc.
    Ola John is also a atypical profile, a black winger who is using more crosses and soft skills than speed and power. There are plenty types of players, and we should bet on this diversity and individual qualities of every player to build a team, instead of trying to inculcate a style to all players.

    That’s why I want a real DM, a real distributor player, a real offensive midfielder etc. every player with clear tasks, and not what I’ve seen this under21 tournament, the midfield was horrible for me, didn’t understand what was Strootman use, what was Maher use…They all were swapping roles and it wasn’t working.

  76. Jeff and Laurent:

    Maybe Ajax don´t need Maher because they have Klassenn to sub Ericksen?

    I don´t know, but I will very upset if Ajax don´t buy Maher.

    PSV are behind Bruma and Schaards. Very good players.

  77. Barring injuries, the first four defenders (irrespective of positions) boarding the airplane to Brazil are BMI, De Vrij, Janmaat and Van Rhijn.

    The partnership of BMI and SdV is almost a lock in Van Gaal’s mind. BMI is the real deal and the future of Oranje defense, but I am not sure SdV has what it takes to compete at the highest level. His positioning is shaky, and his speed, or lack thereof, doesn’t help him much when defending. Unlike BMI, Stef doesn’t play with authority, and looks awfully soft at times. It’s unfair to write him off now, but if I were Van Gaal, I would look very hard for a plan “B” (a plan that doesn’t involve old guards like Heitinga, Vlaar, or Mathijsen).

    Bruma has probably a pretty decent chance to make the squad, especially if he makes a quick recovery in Eredivisie. I am concerned about his lack of confidence, though, after months of misery. Big no no for Douglas (attitudes issues), or Nuytinck (no skills).

    I would like to see Van Gaal rolls a dice on youth (which historically, he’s been very successful). Two sleepers in my book are Mike van der Hoorn and Virgil van Dijk.

    Interestingly enough, Mike vd Hoorn share some of the same criticism with SdV (slow, stiff, and awkward), but he has the edge from SdV the fact that he is a super tough competitor.. physical and dominant in the air. If he can shake off the bad memory from this Euro U21, and perhaps secure a move to Ajax/PSV, watch out for him. Remember he is Utrecth best players chosen by the fans (not many defender achieved this feat), so it must count for something.

    Virgil van Dijk is kinda in the same boat with vd Hoorn. Strong, very physical and quite intimidating at the back. He is pretty clumsy on the ball, though I think he can be taught to be a decent passer. The good news for him is that he’ll be playing in Champions League next season with his new club Celtics. Things are looking up for him, assuming he hits the ground running.

    Janmaat is ahead of Van Rhijn at the moment. Not much different between the two.. both have plenty of appetite to attack, but rather questionable in defense. The race is on for these two.

    LB is hopeless, as it’s always been. Blind, Jetro Willems, Van Aanholt, Buttner. None of them will make a whole lot of difference. Just need to choose the lesser evil, I suppose. The key for Van Gaal is to improve Robben’s discipline to track back and close down space.. which has never been part of Robben’s natural strength.

    1. I still like the idea try put Strootman of Fer as central back. We need CB with build up capacity. That’s BMI and Van der Hoorn weak point IMO

    2. I think if Pieters can recover his form with Cocu next season , Blind playing one more season in the CL , we will have very good options un the LB .
      Don’t know if Buttner or Van aanholt can make it in their clubs ” man utd and Chelsea ” , but of course if they can , they will be far better options .
      I have more hopes on van Aanholt than Buttner .

  78. For the upcoming worldcup, I think these players have already booked their tickets:

    1- RvP
    2- Robben
    3- Strootman
    4- BMI
    5- Krul

    In the hunt, De Vrij, Janmaat, Maher

    They have to be fit and obviously playing well. I don’t think anyone else has earned the right to be playing at top level yet.

  79. Where is De Guzmán playing next season?.

    Is Bruma already a PSV player?

    Van Aanholt will be with Vittesse or will he go back to Chelsea?

    If Maher is too expensive for Ajax maybe they should try buying Fer or Van Ginkel.

  80. We need experience in our team:

    RVP, Robben, Sneijder, Huntelaar, VDV, Stekelenburg, .

    Nigel?, Heitinga (sub), Kuyt?, Afellay?, Vlaar?,

    LVG has to make our experienced players accept if they are benched by a younger player if he feels a particular player won’t accept it it’s better not to take him to the WC.

    I feel VDV won’t accept too much this situation and maybe it’d be better to leave him home.

  81. ——————Stekelenburg————–

    —-Janmaat—-De Vrij—-BMI—-Pieters—-



  82. Bleed Orange, the partnership of SDV and BMI was exposed in the Euro 21. Its like the hull was breached and the water came inside. If van gaal still insists to use the same partnership in the WC 2014, then he is the biggest blind fool. Euro 21 was a definite bench mark for the players to prove that they were a material for senior level, but it back fired big time especially in the defensive area, and I really hope Van Gaal has pencilled that it in red letters. At this point in time the 2 best contenders that can fill that fill the RCB shoes are either Bruma or Douglas.
    The other thing how can you say that Douglas has a attitude problem when a team like Inter Milan are bidding to recruit him. Sneidjer and Robben were also criticised for their attitude and selfishness after their dismal performance in Euro 2012. I’m sure that something that can be solved by the coaches on the table and also when you representing a country at World cup Level, this easily changes your attitude specially given the self belief and atmosphere that u are playing .
    As usually all the WC qualifying games has been and will be smooth sailing for the Dutch as there is no team that can take them to the wire. The two friendly we have played was a loss to Belgium and a draw against Italy and next on the list his is Portugal.
    I was watching second choice Spain take on Tahiti at the Condfed Cup this morning and believe me their lineup was like it was their main team. They have a super sub in every position, you just name it and . My point is that we are still experimenting and trying to fasten the loss end while other big teams have already moulded the players that will feature in 2014 .
    I happy that the weak areas was exposed in the Euro 21 and definitely we have to take note of it and work on it towards the build up to WC 2014. I Know its bit late, but I don’t wanna cry in front of the tele next year and see the NT loss just because somebody was slow or couldn’t tackle.
    Defence will the most integral part to the NT success in WC 2014

    The Last Line of defense for 2014

    Jammant/Van Der Wiel – Bruma/Douglas – BMI-Pieters/Blind

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